May 22, 2014 11:00 AM by Jordan Mason
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (May 21, 2014) -- Trials for the 2014 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship Team begin on Thursday, May 22, and 153 female basketball players age 17 years old or younger are expected to arrive at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to take part in skills sessions and to vie for one of 12 roster spots on the 2014 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship Team.
The trials roster features 38 athletes who accepted invitations from the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee and 115 players who took advantage of USA Basketball's open-application process to attend trials as applicant athletes. The complete roster is available online.
Only U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 1997, are eligible for this team, and the committee is expected to name the 12-member roster for the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team at 8 a.m. (all times are Mountain Daylight Time) on May 26.
"I am very excited about the start of the USA Women's U17 World Championship Team Trials," said Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty H.S./San Jose Cagers AAU, Calif.), who returns to lead the 2014 USA Basketball U17 World Championship Team after having led the USA to a gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. "It's such a tremendous opportunity to work with great coaches and talented players from all over the United States. I am confidant that all the participants will have a positive experience and that the selection committee will select an outstanding team."
Also returning from the gold-medal 2013 USA U16 coaching staff are assistant coaches Mary Coyle Klinger (Rutgers Preparatory School, N.J.) and Brian Robinson (Bishop McGuinness H.S./Stealers AAU, N.C.).
Four court coaches will be on hand to assist during trials, including Ellis Barfield (Lynwood H.S., Calif.), Dianne Lewis (Edison H.S., Va.), Teri Morrison (Carroll Senior H.S., Texas) and Dori Oldaker (Mt. Lebanon H.S., Pa.).
The 153 players include 46 athletes who will graduate high school in 2015, 75 players set to graduate in 2016, 23 from the high school class of 2017, seven players from the class of 2018 and one player apiece from the class of 2019 and 2020.
The trials roster features players from 35 states, including 20 from Texas; 14 from California; 11 from Georgia; eight from Colorado and Illinois; seven from Maryland and New York; six from Washington; five from Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma; four from Michigan and North Carolina; three from Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin; two each from Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee; and one player apiece from Alaska, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina and Wyoming. Additionally, Jada Nneji (Cardinal Carter Catholic H.S./Richmond Hill) resides in Ontario, Canada.
At 6-foot-9, Nancy Mulkey (Cypress Woods H.S./Cypress, Texas) is the tallest player on the roster, and standing at 5-foot-4, Rekha Berry (McGill-Toolen Catholic H.S/Mobile, Ala.), Tyler Collins (Woodward Academy/Fayetteville, Ga.), Kaela Hilaire (Floral Park Memorial H.S./Floral Park, N.Y.), Autumn Powell (Window Rock H.S./Window Rock, Ariz.) and Caitlin Schlesener (Metro Academy/Lawrence, Kan.) are the shortest.
Born on Jan. 11, 1997, Allazia Blockton (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.) is the oldest player at trials, while Brianna Ellis (Calvary Christian Academy/Palm Coast, Fla.), born on Oct. 17, 2001, is the youngest.